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Religion in Motion: Boundary Work in the Emerging Global Religious Field



Please note that Vincent Gossaert had to cancel his participation on short notice. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Assembling case studies from all over Eurasia, this conference aims at testing the assumption that in the context of the massive expansion in the traffic of people, goods and information, which acquired a new spectacular dimension from the early modern period onwards, a global religious field started to emerge. We propose to look especially at boundary work as it appears in the situations of exceptionally dynamic and transformative religious constellations such as missions or migration. We are interested in the double process of convergence and differentiation: the way in which boundaries, always porous and fluid, are being set up and re-negotiated between religious communities, as well as between religious and non-religious forms of social communication. What are the patterns and mechanisms of dealing with religious diversity? How appropriate are the universality claims implied in the notion of a global religious field? In how far do unexpected outcomes of dynamic interactions in and beyond the religious field challenge the idea of religious convergence?

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